Hatoyama says strengthening of SDF presence in Nansei Islands is based on “antiquated ideas”

Hatoyama says strengthening of SDF presence in Nansei Islands is based on “antiquated ideas”

Chairman Yukio Hatoyama (center), Hajime Takano (left), and Kiyoshi Sugawa in an interview prior to the meeting on December 17 at Gusukube Public Hall in Gusukube, Miyakojima City

January 4, 2022 Ryukyu Shimpo

By Shinji Sano


On December 17, the East Asian Community Institute held a town meeting in Miyakojima City titled “Contemplating Miyako Island missile deployment and how the current situation in Miyako Island and the Nansei Islands might be affected by a Taiwan emergency.” About 50 city residents participated in the meeting and exchanged views about the impacts that missile deployment and a “Taiwan emergency” would have on the island.

Chairman of the East Asian Community Institute Yukio Hatoyama, journalist and director of said institute Hajime Takano, and former special researcher of the Cabinet Secretariat Kiyoshi Sugawa all arrived on Miyako Island for the meeting. These three gave speeches prior to exchanging views with the city residents. As concerns the strengthening of the Self-Defense Forces presence on the Nansei Islands pursued by the Japanese government, Hatoyama and the others criticized that this move is “progressing based on antiquated ideas” and emphasized that it is “unnecessary.”

Supposing that a Taiwan emergency did occur, Hatoyama and the others assessed that when it came time for Japan and the United States to enter the fray, tensions would not rise gradually with missiles maintained on both sides, but rather “there is a high probability that war would break out all at once.” In addition, they emphasized that “the U.S. military bases in Okinawa and SDF missile bases such as those on Miyako Island would be first on the radar in terms of being targets for attack by China,” and as such, “the presence of missiles on the island jeopardizes it.”

Before the meeting, the three speakers went to see Camp Miyakojima, the Bora Training Area with its ammunition depot, and Miyakojima Sub Base. The three speakers also warned that the distance between Bora Village and the ammunition depot is very short. Takano said, “It would be better to say the ammunition depot is in the village, it is ridiculous for it to be at such an unsuitable distance.”

(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)


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